The Dangers of Being a Player
Does the Pope Believe in the Resurrection?

The Leftovers Left Behind

Was it really?...yes, it was, over a month ago that I talked about the HBO series The Leftovers. See this post. Here's the basic idea:

It's a strange and interesting premise:  what if a great many people suddenly just vanished, right in the middle of ordinary activities, poof, there one moment and gone the next? Something like the Rapture, but with absolutely no discernible pattern or meaning? Or explanation. How would the people still here--the leftovers--react? What sort of cultural pathologies might develop? 

At the time I'd seen two of the three seasons and was undecided about it: "sort of recommended, but with reservations" was the way I put it. 

Now I've seen the third season and have decided: not recommended. Rob G disagrees with me about whether the third season redeems the second or not. And as I mentioned in that earlier post the show was apparently loved by most critics. So don't take my word for it (not that you would). But all in all I found it disappointing and frequently annoying. A great many of the plot turns made no sense to me, turns for the sake of turns. And I didn't find most of the characters very interesting. I will say for the third season that it didn't leave me feeling like I'd sat through a very long shaggy dog story: at least one extremely important question is answered, so that was a relief.

I can, however, recommend the show without reserve to anyone who feels that he doesn't hear the f-word often enough. Most of the characters use it relentlessly, almost compulsively. 


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Agreed -- I wouldn't recommend it unreservedly either. I just felt that it pulled itself back together somewhat after the frustrating second season, largely because of the ending, which I found moderately compelling. And you're right about the language.

I think for me it was a matter of only wanting to watch season 3 to see how it would end, but then being somewhat pleasantly surprised by the ending.

I think you weren't as annoyed by various things as I was. For instance, the character of Laurie (or Lori?): she *really* got on my nerves. The same actress played a rich narcissistic murderer in the last season of Goliath, and was all too convincing. That may have colored my reaction to her in this, but I never could see her as very sympathetic.

The f-word was my problem with The Wire. I mean, not just that it was total overkill, but that it was the only word I could understand.


At least it seemed sort of appropriate to the milieu there. Well, maybe middle class America is that sort of milieu now.

Has anybody watched the series Godless? It looks excessively grim but I'm wondering. It includes the actress who played Lady Mary in Downton Abbey, in what is apparently a very very different role.

Michelle Dockery? You should see her in The Gentlemen, the recent Guy Ritchie film. Talk about a very different role! Don't know Godless.

Watching a very good series now, Hidden, a Welsh production made by some of the same people who did Hinterland. Two episodes left, but so far it's excellent. Full report to come.

I'm laughing about Janet saying that was the only word she could understand in The Wire. :)

I don't watch any of these shows, but I just watched the newest Emma (Jane Austen) two nights in a row and think it is very wonderful. No cursing at all, Janet!

Yes, Michelle Dockery--couldn't come up with the name. I'll have to see if The Gentlemen is available to me.

There's yet another Emma? Or maybe I should say another Austen. I don't actually know how many Emmas there are.

The Gentlemen is very funny but the language is really bad, as it tends to be in British gangster movies. Loads of F-bombs and quite a few C-words, the latter of which seemingly gets used a lot more in the UK than it does here. It's jarring if you're not aware of that ahead of time (I've seen enough UK cop movies and comedies to know that).

The Welsh seem to be busy with crime dramas. Another is 35 Days. I've seen one of the three seasons and would rate it good, though not outstanding. It's in Welsh, which is unusual.

There are so many of these now, and if you just watch one 60-90 minute episode a night, you find yourself getting through a lot of them.

I do love Emma. I am always afraid to watch a new Jane Austen movie, but maybe I will give it a try and hope it doesn't make me use bad language.

And thank you for laughing, Stu.


I guess I'll confess to not having read Emma. I guess I'll further confess to not having read any Austen except Pride and Prejudice, as far as I can remember. I do like P&P.

Well, I finished watching 'Hidden' last night, and I must say it's one of the best things of its sort I've seen in a long time. Everything is top notch, with the acting being especially notable. The leads are all simply excellent, and even the minor characters, with one exception, are very well-played (I didn't buy the performance of the two lead detectives' superior officer. It's not bad, just not up to the level of the rest.) And the music is marvelous -- I've got a friend from the UK working on getting me a CD, as you can't get it over here without paying a pretty high shipping cost.

It is quite dark at times, and several of the characters reflect a very deep pain, the portrayal of which is at times hard to watch. But it's in no sense hopelessly gloomy or nihilistic. There's a considerable level of sympathy there, as well as a strong sense of the necessity of justice.

I'd also note that it's not a "whodunit." You know fairly early on who the culprit is. The tension arises from the police's scramble to identify him and prevent him from striking again. There's some language and some violence, but in neither case is it over-the-top in context. As it turns out one of the worst characters has the worst language, which makes a certain amount of sense.

So, recommended unreservedly, except for those who are very "dark-averse."

"Desperate to locate her kidnapped daughter, police captain Ramona Lewis...." Is that it? If so it's on Amazon Prime. Not on Netflix.

Speaking of Amazon, I watched the first episode of In the Loop a few nights ago. It's a sci-fi-ish sort of thing. The episodes are distinct stories, and I have no idea whether others will be as good, but this one is absolutely beautiful. Also recommended unreservedly. Bears comparison to Arrival, though no aliens are involved.

No, different one. This is a BBC Wales production, called 'Craith' in Welsh. Stars Sian Reese-Williams and Rhodri Meilir. I watched it on Amazon. There's a second series but it hasn't shown up here yet.

Found it under "Craith". Requires an Acorn TV subscription, or $2.99 per episode. Boo.

True, but I think Acorn's only $4.99 a month, and you can go month-by-month. I signed up for it at the beginning of May and have already watched 3 or 4 things, so well worth the five bucks.

Don't know if I want to deal with that, although getting it for a month and cancelling would be cheaper than paying for this specific show. I've already got BritBox. It's tough choosing between that and Acorn, because each has some Brit stuff that the other doesn't.

We watched the first episode of Tales from the Loop last night. I t was really good. I am not going to let myself watch more than one per night.


Glad you liked it. I'll probably watch the next one tonight.

It's nice that Amazon sends you an email letting you know that your month is almost up. If you had to keep track of each "membership" yourself it would be a drag.

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